Experts on disability have demanded allocation of at least 1.5% of the fiscal budget for the disabled and physically challenged populace. They also demanded effective and stronger administrative initiatives to speeding up implementation of the ‘Disable People’s Rights and Protection Act 2013’.
Mainstream development aka the equity based development couldn’t be possible without integrating and ensuring development of the disabled, the experts opined.
The speakers raised the issues in an exchange of views on ‘Integrating disabled in the mainstream and the national budget 2014-15’ at the CIRDAP auditorium Sunday in the capital. Action on Disability and Development ADD organized the program.
Accordig to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 10 percent of the total population of Bangladesh are somehow victims of disability. The figure could be counted as one crore and sixty lac, if the total population is taken 16 crore for granted. According to household survey of 2010, around 9.07 percent of the population are disabled or physically challenged. This survey tolls the number of disabled people are one crore and fourty five lac. Another survey of the Ministry of Social Welfare finds the figure as one crore and five lac. The ministry started the survey in the previous year and it is close to be ended. At this juncture, it is high time government took right measures to protect the disabled and ensured necessary allocations in the budget.
The ADD is currently working with some 1000 disability concern organizations of 110 unions of 10 districts, including Dhaka. The organization has also conducted workshops at 40 unions regarding the necessary budgetary allocations in the 2014-15 fiscal budget for the disabled and physically challenged people.
The workshops have emphasized on policies that integrate the disabled in uniform and integrated education processes. For this purpose, proper budgetary allocation is needed for teachers training, education supporting materials for the disabled and appointing at least one disability expert teacher in an institution. The ADD further thinks at least Tk one lac needed for each union for ensuring free treatment and medicine for the disabled.
Besides, the organization has proposed to allocate Tk one lac and 50 thousand for each upazila for buying necessary disability supportive equipments like tri-cycle, wheel chair, white cane, crutch, and ear-device and so on.
The speakers in the program also emphasized administrative steps on ‘Disable People’s Rights and Protection Act 2013’. They have also demanded to include disabled concern in the policy making proceedings. The local administration and units should also be properly informed and trained up for protecting the rights of the disabled. The speakers stressed on including the issue of disability in the ministries to bring effective and standard changes in lives of the disabled.
Economist Mirza Azizul islam, Law Maker Abul kalam azad, Country Director of ADD, Mosharraf Hossain and Ferhana Ferdous was also present during the exchange of views.